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P V Sindhu loses to Carolina Marin in final, ends up with silver

World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu
World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games here today.
 
It was Marin almost all the way in the match, barring the later stages of the first game, when Sindhu came from behind at 12-16 to first come up on level and then reel off five points in a row to win at 21-16.
 
But, overall, the 21-year-old was up against a much better player today as the Spaniard played aggressively almost throughout and controlled the proceedings.
 
This was the first time that an Indian had made it to the badminton singles final and the silver that Sindhu won today is an improvement on the bronze won by her teammate Saina Nehwal at the London Olympics in 2012.
 
Sindhu, appearing in her first Olympics, managed to stay level with Marin in the opening minutes but was soon behind at 2-5, 5-9 and then 6-12 as the Spaniard attacked well, both from the baseline and the net, and kept her rival moving all over court.
 
The Indian, however, fought back to narrow the gap at 16-17 but Marin then moved ahead to 19-16 with a powerful shot to Sindhu's backhand. A series of unforced errors by Marin helped Sindhu pull up at 19-19 and the Indian quickly picked up two more points to win at 21-19 before the Spaniard quite realised what had happened. Sindhu had scored five points in a row at that stage, reminding spectators of the manner in which she had reeled off 11 points in a row in the second game of yesterday's semi-final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, which she had won 21-19, 21-10.
 
Marin, an amazingly fast mover on the court, appeared more determined in the second game as she quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead, which she widened to 10-2 and then 11-4 before Sindhu could settle down.
 
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Sindhu fought back briefly, defending wll and come up some good shots at the net, to make it 7-14 but Marin, with superb angled shots, beautiful wrist work and deft placements, ensured that she stayed ahead, moving to 18-10 and then sealing the game at 21-12.
 
Marin began the decider on an aggressive note, grabbing a 7-4 lead. Again, Sindhu clawed her way back into the game by equalising at 10-10. The two players crossed over with Marin having a slender 11-10 advantage.
 
Sindhu kept up the fight but could not quite catch up and was behind at 14-16 from where Marin managed six points in a row to end up with six match points and prevailed finally at 21-15 to win the gold -- the first European woman to achieve the distinction in badminton at the Olympics. Sindhu is the first Indian woman to win a silver at the Olympics.
 
Sindhu has, in the process, become the fourth Indian to win an Olympic siver. The first was shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in 2004, followed by shooter Vijay Kumkar and wrestler Sushil Kumar, both in 2008.
 
The silver helped India to move up to the 57th place in the medals tally table.
 
“I played well. I wanted to win, but I could not," Sindhu said after the match. “I am proud of what I have achieved.  Silver is no  mean achievement in  the Olympics."
 
“It was a tough encounter  and I gave my best," Sindhu said. “Marin is a very good player she played well. I tried to stop her in the third, but could not but I am not complaining.
 
“Every player wants to win and, in my heart of hearts, I was also thinking that only one match is left for the gld but that  turned out to be elusive.
 
“Never mind, it was a good match. I never thought I will ever play in the Olympic final. I am happy with the silver I got," she added.
 
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ICC World T20: New Zealand stun India by 47 runs

New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Nagpur on Tuesday night.

 
New Zealand stun India, win by 47 runs
 
New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here tonight.
 
The hosts appeared to have done well when they restricted New Zealand to 126 for seven in their 20 overs after the Kiwis' skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first.
 
But they then managed to bowl out the Indians for just 79 in 18.1 overs to maintain their all-win record against India in T20 internationals, winning all the five matches they have met in so far. The shabby batting performance by the Indians was clearly no match for the might of the New Zealand bowling today.
 
Chasing what appeared to be an easy target, both the Indian openers departed under 10 runs. Shikhar Dhawan (1) was the first to go, trapped leg before wicket by Nathan McCullum.
 
Rohit Sharma followed him in the third over after making just five runs. He tried to take on Mitchell Santer, only to be removed by a stumping by Luke Ronchi. Suresh Raina (1) followed him into the pavilion in the same over. The south paw tried to flick the ball past mid-wicket only to play it too high and was caught by a waiting Martin Guptill at short mid-wicket.
 
Circumstances turned worse when Yuvraj Singh (4) followed within the power play, giving a return catch to Mccullum. Kohli who tried to build the innings with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni departed at the start of the ninth over.
 
By this time India were 39/5 and had bleak hopes of regaining control of the match.
 
Soon the rest of the tail tumbled for a feeble 79/10 in 18.1 overs. Except Dhoni (30), Kohli (23) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10), none of the other batsmen could cross into double digits.
 
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The New Zealnd bowlers had a great day in the field with the ball. Slow-left-arm bowler Santer topped the bowling chart with figures of four for 11 with an economy of 2.75. This was backed up by Ish Sodhi who clamed three wickets for 18 in his four overs. Santer was chosen Player of the Match.
 
Earlier, things did not appear to be going to well for the Kiwis as they made first use of the pitch.
 
Opener Guptill smashed the first ball of the match from Ashwin for a straight six. But the off-spinner got even two balls later, trapping the batsman leg before wicket.
 
Colin Munro, who replaced him, departed after making just seven an over later, top-edging Ashish Nehra's ball to wide mid-on.
 
From then on, the Indian bowling attack struck home in terms of both picking up wickets at regular intervals and also restricting the Kiwis' run tally. 
 
Both Raina and Ravindra Jadeja completed their four overs with figures of one for 15 as the Indians came up with a good all-round perfomrnance in the field.
 
Dhoni took a catch off Jadeja and did a stumping as well and two brilliant runouts by Raina and Dhawan added to New Zealand's woes.
 
Corey Anderson stood out in the batting order, scoring 34 runs, and Luke Ronchi  scored 21 off 11 balls to take the side's total to 126 for seven at the end of 20 overs.
 
Scoreboard:
New Zealand innings (20 overs maximum)
MJ Guptill lbw b Ashwin 6
KS Williamson st Dhoni b Raina 8
C Munro c Pandya b Nehra 7
CJ Anderson b Bumrah 34
LRPL Taylor run out (Raina) 10
MJ Santner c †Dhoni b Jadeja 18
GD Elliott run out (Dhawan/Nehra) 9
L Ronchi not out 21
NL McCullum not out 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 6) 13
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 126 (6.30 runs per over)
Did not bat: AF Milne, IS Sodhi
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Guptill, 0.2 ov), 2-13 (Munro, 1.3 ov), 3-35 (Williamson, 6.5 ov), 4-61 (Taylor, 11.3 ov), 5-89 (Anderson, 15.4 ov), 6-98 (Santner, 16.4 ov), 7-114 (Elliott, 19.3 ov)
Bowling
R Ashwin 4 0 32 1
A Nehra 3 1 20 1
JJ Bumrah 4 0 15 1
SK Raina 4 0 16 1
RA Jadeja 4 0 26 1
HH Pandya 1 0 10 0
 
India innings (target: 127 runs from 20 overs)
RG Sharma st Ronchi b Santner 5
S Dhawan lbw b McCullum 1
V Kohli c Ronchi b Sodhi 23
SK Raina c Guptill b Santner 1
Yuvraj Singh c & b McCullum 4
MS Dhoni c McCullum b Santner 30
HH Pandya lbw b Santner 1
RA Jadeja c & b Sodhi 0
R Ashwin st Ronchi b Sodhi 10
A Nehra b Milne 0
JJ Bumrah not out 0
Extras (w 3, nb 1) 4
Total (all out; 18.1 overs) 79 (4.34 runs per over)
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Dhawan, 0.5 ov), 2-10 (Sharma, 2.2 ov), 3-12 (Raina, 2.5 ov), 4-26 (Yuvraj Singh, 4.5 ov), 5-39 (Kohli, 8.1 ov), 6-42 (Pandya, 9.4 ov), 7-43 (Jadeja, 10.2 ov), 8-73 (Ashwin, 16.3 ov), 9-79 (Dhoni, 17.4 ov), 10-79 (Nehra, 18.1 ov)
Bowling
NL McCullum 3 0 15 2
CJ Anderson 3 0 18 0
MJ Santner 4 0 11 4
GD Elliott 2 0 9 0
AF Milne 2.1 0 8 1
IS Sodhi 4 0 18 3
 
Toss - New Zealand, who chose to bat
Points - New Zealand 2, India 0
Player of the match - MJ Santner (New Zealand)
 
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SC appoints Gavaskar to oversee IPL as interim BCCI chief, Yadav to handle other functions

The Supreme Court on Friday appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the BCCI to oversee the IPL in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.

 
BCCI counsel welcomes SC verdict
The Supreme Court today appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to oversee the Indian Premier League (IPL) in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.
 
The apex court also said that all other functions of the BCCI president would be handled by another former cricketer, Shivlal Yadav, who is the seniormost vice-president of the BCCI. He represents the South Zone, the zone represented by Mr Srinivasan.
 
The court also allowed the two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), to participate in the seventh season of IPL beginning April 16. Both teams are being investigated for alleged involvement in the betting and spot-fixing scandal.
 
A two-judge bench comprising Mr Justice A K Patnaik and Mr Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla posted the matters before them, arising out of two petitions, for further hearing to April 16 and noted that it would take some more days after that for the hearing to be completed and for judgement to be delivered.
 
They noted that Mr Srinivasan had made a written offer through his counsel that, till investigation into which the allegations against him is completed, he will not discharge any of the functions of the post.
 
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Cricket Association of Bihar in one of the petitions, had submitted that no further investigation into the allegations against Mr. Srinivasan is necessary as the findings of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, appointed by the court, and the materials relied on by the said committee for the findings were sufficient for the court to remove Mr. Srinivasan from the post of BCCI president as prayed in the petition before the Bombay High Court.
 
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"As we are yet to hear all the parties in these matters, we cannot at this stage form any opinion and pass orders on the basis of such opinion for removal of Mr. Srinivasan from the post of the President of the BCCI. 
 
"The IPL 2014 is, however, scheduled to commence on 16th April, 2014 and we have to pass interim orders to ensure that all those who love cricket continue to watch cricket in IPL 2014 and the matches are played by the players in accordance with the IPL Rules," the judges said.
 
"Considering the fact that Mr. Sunil Gavaskar was a cricket player of great repute and eminence, a captain of the Indian cricket team for a long period and has a wide experience in cricket related activities and of men and matters, we appoint him, as an interim measure, to function as and exercise
the powers of the President of the BCCI in relation to the IPL, 2014 till we hear and deliver the judgment in these matters. We make it clear that
with regard to all other matters of BCCI, the senior most Vice-President of the BCCI, Mr. Shiv Lal Yadav, will discharge the functions of the President of the
BCCI. 
 
"We also direct that till we deliver the judgment, none of the employees of India Cement Limited or its associate companies (except cricket players or commentators) will perform any of the duties assigned to them by the BCCI and the Interim President, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, will have power to engage the services of such persons on whom he has confidence for work in connection with the IPL 2014," the order said.
 
The court said that it was upto Mr Gavaskar to decide as to whether Mr Sundar Raman, also an employee of India Cement, Should continue as Chief Operating Officer of IPL or not.
 
"In case of any difficulty, Mr. Gavaskar may apply to this Court for appropriate orders," the judges said.
 
They also said that Mr Gavaskar would not work as a commentator during this period as an interim president of the BCCI in relation to IPL matters, and that he would be adequately compensated for the loss of income by the BCCI.
 
The compensation amount would be determined after the court resumes hearing in the matter on April 16.
 
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"We make it clear that we have not passed any order preventing any player or any team from participating in the IPL Tournament 2014," the court added.
 
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday said that Mr Srinivasan should step aside till the IPL probe is over and given it time until yesterday to come up with a proposal in this regard.
 
The BCCI yesterday told the court that Mr Srinivasan was willing to do so and that it was keen that the probe be completed expeditiously so that the whole episode could be put behind and it could move forward.
 
The Supreme Court proposed yesterday that Mr Srinivasan should step down and an eminent cricketer such as Mr Gavaskar be appointed in his place till it gave its final verdict in the IPL case.
 
It had also proposed that CSK and RR should not be part of IPL 7 and that no peson associated with India Cements, the company headed by Mr Srinivasan, should be allowed to function in any capacity in the BCCI.
 
The court had given the BCCI time until today to consider the proposals before it gave its interim order in the matter.
 
In the orders issued today, CSK and RR were allowed to participate in the tournament. 
 
The decision to ask Mr Yadav to handle the duties of the president of BCCI, other than those related to IPL, is in keeping with its rules which require that its head should be a member of the body.
 
Mr Srinivasan is the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, which owns CSK, one of the eight teams in the tournament.
 
His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a member of the CSK team management, was arrested by the Mumbai Police in May 2013 as part of their probe into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the sixth season of IPL.
 
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also the captain of CSK, is a senior employee of India Cements, as are some others associated with IPL and BCCI.
 
Mr Srinivasan had last year stepped aside as the BCCI chief to facilitate the investigations into the allegations, but was, on September 29, 2013 re-elected to the position.
 
The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee's report, which was handed over to the Supreme Court on February 10 this year, is understood to have said that the allegations against Mr Meiyappan needed to be probed further.
 
The court had appointed the committee on October 8 last year to investigate the alleged scam.
 
Some players of Rajasthan Royals, including Indian bowler S Sreesanth, had been arrested for their alleged role in the spot-fixing scam.
 
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India bags 4 more golds, slides to 3rd place in medals table

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India bagged up four more gold medals - 3 in boxing and 1 in table tennis - as it raised its tally to 36 golds but dropped to third place in the medals table in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Wednesday.

India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.
India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.

Indian boxers Paramjeet Samota, Manoj Kumar and Suranjoy Mayengbam and men's table tennis pair of Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha picked up gold medals as the hosts raised their tally to 36 gold medals on the penultimate day of the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts, however, found themselves pushed to third place in the medals table, with 36 golds, 26 silvers and 34 bronzes.

England pushed past them to the second slot with 37 golds, 56 silvers and 45 bronzes while Australia was unassailable at the top with 72 golds, 50 silvers and 47 bronzes.

The day also brought some shame for the home contingent with athlete Rani Yadav, who had competed in the women's 20 km walk, testing positive for a banned substance during an anti-doping test. She has been suspended from the Games, pending the result of a B sample test in the next 48 hours.

Samota capped India's best-ever showing in boxing at the Commonwealth Games as he outpointed Tariq Abdul Haqq of Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 in the men's heavy weight (91 kg) event in the final bout of competition this evening.

The Indian, who had bagged the bronze at the Asian Championships in Zhuhai, China last year, dominated the bout from the word go. He was leading 3-0 in the first round and increased it to 5-0 by the ed of the second, finishing with a 5-1 decision.

Before him, Manoj Kumar upset the more experienced Bradley Saunders of England in the light welterweight (64 kg) category 11-2. Saunders is a European Championships gold medallist.

Kumar, 24, worked up a 4-1 lead after the first round and widened it further to 8-1 going into the last round.

Earlier, Suranjoy won his flyweight (52kg) bout by walkover when Benson Njangiru of Kenya pulled out with a wrist injury.

India ended the competition with three gold and four bronze medals. Northern Ireland won three gold and England two, while Scotland and Sri Lanka took one each. This was India's best showing in boxing in the Commonwealth Games. They had won one gold each in 2002 and 2006.

Top-seeded Achanta and Saha sent the crowd at the packed Yamuna Sports Complex into raptures as they beat second-seeded Gao Ning and Yang Zi of Singapore 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 in the final of the men's doubles event in table tennis.

The Singapore dictated the pace in the early stages and wrapped up the first set 11-9. But the crowd egged the local pair on and Achanta and Saha played brilliantly to take the next two sets 12-10 and 11-4. Gao and Yang took the match into a fifth set by winning the fourth 11-5 before Achanta and Saha settled the issue by winning the next set 11-8.

This is the first time that India has won the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.

"In 2006 we went out of competition as underdogs. No one recognised us in the men's doubles competition in 2006. I was full of pride, so happy that I was finally able to do it. The government and our country has helped us a lot and the best way we can repay them is with a win today. Our aim was that our flag should fly high and we accomplished it," he said.

About his loss in the men's singles semi-finals to Yang earlier in the day, he said, "I lost the match today with close points. The competition was really tough. I wasn't able to forget my defeat today. It was really a hard phase today. I had just three hours to get rid of the thought that I was defeated today."

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India grab 6 more golds to take Games tally to 20, stay in 2nd place

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India won 6 more golds - 3 in shooting, 2 in wrestling and 1 in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table at the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Friday,

India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

India won six more golds - three in shooting, two in wrestling and one in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table on the fifth day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.


The hosts have so far managed 20 golds, 16 silvers and 12 bronzes. Australia are at the top of the table with 47 golds, 24 silvers and 27 bronzes, while England remained in the third place with 19 golds, 37 silvers and 20 bronzes.


The day started on a happy note for India with the trio of Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram coming from behind to stun England 207-206 and taking the top slot in the Women's Team Recurve event in archery.


A little later, ace shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan won the gold in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event.


Their compatriot Vijay Kumar, 25, set a new Games Final Record to win gold, notching up 787.5 points in the Singles 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men event. He had earlier broken his own Games Qualification Record with a score of 583 points.


Alka Tomar defeated Tonya Verbeek of Canada in the 59 kg Women's Freestyle wrestling event at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.


She was followed by Anita, who beat Megan Buydens of Canada in the final of the 67 kg Women's Freestyle to take the gold.


"I've been through two months of hard training. After this win I'm more confident for future events like that," she said later.


India got their sixth gold medal of the day when shooter Omkar Singh won the Singles 10m Air Pistol Men with a score of 681.8. Bin Gai of Singapore took the silver with 676.2 while Daniel Repacholi of Australia got the bronze with 674.


Omkar Singh had picked up the gold in the company of Gurpreet Singh in the Men's 10m Air Pistol Pairs, notching up 1163 points for a new Games record. On Wednesday, he had won the Men's 50m Pistol Singles and taken the silver in the Men's 50m Pistol Pairs with Deepak Sharma on Tuesday.


Ashish Kumar, who won a bronze in the Men's Floor Exercise yesterday to earn for India its first ever medal in Gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games, won the silver in the men's vault today.


"I am disappointed at not getting the gold medal, but at least I have the experience of competing at this level. My first vault was the highest, but on the second I lost it," he said later.


Gymnast Ashish Kumar
Gymnast Ashish Kumar

The gold went to England's Luke Fowell, who had a score of 15.762 points. Kumar scored 16.150 points on his first attempt but then got a disappointing 14.475 on his second vault for an overall tally of 15.312. Ian Galvan of Canada got the bronze with a score of 15.037.


India had never won a medal in gymnastics before yesterday at the Olympics, World Championships or the Commonwealth Games.


Gurpreet Singh, who had won two golds yesterday in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Pairs and 10m Air Pistol Pairs, won the bronze in the event. Malaysia's Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan took the silver with a score of 760.3.


Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh grabbed silver in the Men's Trap Pairs event in shooting with a score of 197. The gold went to Australian pair Michael Diamond and Adam Vella, who notched up 198 for a new Games record.


In tennis, India were assured of a gold or silver in both the men's and women's singles with top seed Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza winning their semi-final matches today.


Devvarman beat Australia's Matt Ebden 6-3, 6-1 and will meet Greg Jones, also of Austrlia, in the final on Sunday.


Mirza dropped a set but then staged a strong comeback in front of a partisan home crowd on Central Court to prevail 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Olivia Rogowska of Australia. She will meet the winner of the other semi-final between two Australians, Anastasia Rodionova and Sally Peers.


"That was a fantastic win. My heart is beating really fast. It hasn't sunk in," Mirza said after the match.


"I'm happy with the way I fought because in the match I didn't play that well. I knew I just needed to fight and come up with something different. I just had to hang in there," she said.


There was disappointment for the home crowds in the men's doubles with Rohan Bopanna and Devvarman going down 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 to Ross Hutchins and Ken Skupski of England and Mahesh Bhupati and Leander Paes losing 2-6, 2-6 to Paul Hanley and Peter Luczak of Australia in the semi-finals.


India's Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai won the bronze in the Men's Team Recurve in archery today, beating England for the third position.


In wrestling, Babita Kumari of India had to settle for silver in the women's freestyle 51 kg event after losing the final to Ifeoma Christi Nwoye of Nigeria in the final.


The Indian women's hockey team drubbed Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 after losing 1-2 to Australia yesterday.


In boxing, Jai Bhagwan thrashed Nasser Mafuru of Tanzania 11-2 in the lightweight (60 kg) and Dilbag Singh beat Aaron Prince of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3 in the welterweight (69 kg).


India lost to New Zealand in the women's pairs of the lawn bowls competition and found themselves pushed to fifth place and unlikely to make the play-offs.


In squash, Anwesha Reddy of India beat Zephanie Curgenven of Guernsey 11-5, 11-5 5-11, 6-11, 11-6 in the women's singles Consolation Plate Final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.


Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

For shooter Narang, it was his third gold medal of the meet so far and the second in the pairs. He had earlier won the men's 10m Air Rifle Pairs event along with Abhinav Bindra and then in the 10m Air Rifle Men's Singles event.


In the process, Narang became the fifth person to win seven gold medals in shooting in the Commonwealth Games. He is the first male athlete to win three gold medals at the current edition of the Games in Delhi.


Narang and Khan finished with a tally of 2325, a Games record, to beat James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England, who had a total of 2308 in the finals at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range.


At the Yamuna Sports Complex, the England women archers had maintained a slender lead for most of the tie today but found themselves in a position where they needed to score 15 points with just two arrows left to overtake the Indians.


Amy Oliver managed only six with her last shot and Alison Williamson needed a 10 off her final arrow but hit an eight to hand the Indian team the gold.


India's compound archers had won a silver in the men's and a bronze in the women's team events yesterday.


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India grabs 5 golds to climb to 2nd spot in medals tally at Commonwealth Games

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India grabbed five gold medals to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Tuesday.

Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

India grabbed five gold medals -- with two pairs of shooters hitting the bull's eye and wrestlers snatching all three titles at stake -- to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts started the day on a bright note as Beijing Olympics gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and world record holder Gagan Narang won the first gold of the Games for them in the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

They shot a total of 1,193 out of a maximum 1,200 points to snatch victory. Bindra scored 595 while Narang scored 598.

Shortly afterwards, Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayeed set a Games record of 1,156 points to win gold in the women's 25 m Pistol Pairs.

The action then shifted to the wrestling arena at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, where in the men's Greco-Roman style, Ravinder Singh, Sanjay and Anil Kumar snatched gold in their respective categories.

Ravinder beat England's Christopher Terence Bosson 7-2 in the 60 kg category after which Sanjay prevailed over Brian Richard Addinall 2-0 in the 74 kg category. Anil Kumar brought more cheers for the home team by outperforming Hassene Fkiri of Australia 6-0 in the final of the 96 kg category.

India's medals haul today also included two silvers won by Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh in the men's 50 m pistol pairs event and Tejaswini Sawant and Lajjakumari Gauswami in the 50 m rifle 3 position.

India's tally now stands at 5 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes. India's women lifters Sonia Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi gave India their first two medals - a silver and a bronze in the 48 kg class yesterday, followed by a silver and bronze by their male counterparts Sukhen Dey and V Srinivasa Rao in the 56 kg class.

In shooting, Sarnotbat achieved an average of 9.733 points while Sayeed averaged 9.533 in the session. For India, it was the second successive gold in this event, having won in the Melbourne Games in 2006, too.

Australia's Linda Ryan and Lalita Yauhleuskaya bagged silver with 1,146 points while Gorgs Geikie and Julia Lydall of England took the bronze with 1,122 points.

Onkar Singh and Deepak Sharma won a silver for India in the 50 m Air Pistol Pair event.

In the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs event, James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England took the silver with 1,174 points while Hel Abdullah Baki and Asif Hossain Khan of Bangladesh got the bronze with 1,173 points.

With today's victory, Bindra completed a treble in the event, having won golds earlier at the Manchester Commonealth Games in 2002 and at Melbourne in 2006. It was his fourth gold medal in shooting in the Games.

For Narang, it was his fifth gold medal in the Commonwealth Games, having won gold in the last three editions.

Bindra and Narang today broke their own Games record of 1,189 set in Melbourne four years ago.

India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

Narang notched a sequence of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 while Bindra ended up with a series of 100, 98, 99, 100, 99, 99

In tennis, top seed Somdev Devvarman of India won 6-4, 6-2 in his opening match against Devin Mullings of the Bahamas but he looked ill at ease. "I was a little nervous. I did well to come back," he told reporters latr.

"Playing in India is a special feeling. It doesn't matter what seed you are. When you're playing something as big as this, it's a lot more special. You win for your country, then yourself," he added.

In the men's doubles, top seeded Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi of India cruised into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Thangarajah Dineshkanthan and Amresh Jayawickreme in the first round.

In the women's doubles, Nirupama Sanjeev and Poojashree reached the quarter-finals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Aminath Irufa Mahir and Aminath Maleela Solih of the Maldives.

In archery, top seed Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar of India reached the last eight in the men's recurve as did Deepika Kumari and Dola Banerjee in the women's event.

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Govt. sets up committee on Sports Governance

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The Government has constituted a nine-member committee headed by Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas to study the existing sports governance framework and issues relating to sports governance in the country.
 
An official  press release said here today that recent developments related to sports governance, including court judgements and international best practices, would be discussed by the committee. 
 
It would make recommendations on bringing out a comprehensive National Sports Development Code across sports disciplines, the release said.
 
Apart from Srinivas as Chairman, the other members of the committee are Olympian Abhinav Bindra, Olympian Anju Bobby George, Prakash Padukone, former All-England badminton champion and coach, Narinder Batra, President, FIH, lawyer Nandan Kamath, coach Bishweshwar Nandi, sports journalist Vijay Lokpally and Joint Secretary (Sports), MYAS, Member Secretary.
 
Terms of reference of the committee are to identify basic universal principles of ethics and good governance based on the IOC Charter international best practices, draft National Sports Development Bill, National Sports Development Code, 2011, Supreme Court and High Court judgements, etc.; to identify issues pertaining to good governance in administration of sports in the country and to make specific recommendations for bringing out a comprehensive Sports Code to address the issues of governance pertaining to the National Olympic Committee and National Sports Federations. 
 
The committee is required to submit its report within a month, the release added.
 
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Army chief felicitates J&K schoolgirl for kickboxing gold medal

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General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of the Army Staff, felicitated Tajamul Islam, student of Class II of Army Goodwill School, Bandipora, and winner of ‘Gold Medal’ in World Sub Junior Kickboxing Championship at his South Block office here yesterday.
 
She won the gold medal in the championship which was held at Andriana, Italy, after beating her American opponent. The child prodigy won six bouts to lift the championship in her category. 
 
The Army chief praised the grit and determination of the little girl who has made the nation proud and hoped that her success would inspire other children of the valley. Tajamul Islam expressed her joy on meeting him.
 
This young talent was spotted and initially nurtured by the Army Goodwill School, Bandipora. Tajamul started her journey in the world of kickboxing by winning the Gold Medal at the State level championship, held in Jammu in 2015. She thereafter, won gold medal in sub-junior category at 2015 National Kickboxing Championship, held at Talkatora Stadium here.
 
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RIL, GE sign partnership to provide IIOT solutions in oil, gas, power, other sectors

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani with GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immlet at the signing of an agreement in the IIOT space between the two companies.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani with GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immlet at the signing of an agreement in the IIOT space between the two companies.
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and digital industrial company GE today said they had signed a global partnership agreement in the Industrial IOT (IIOT) space whereby they would work together to build out joint applications on GE’s Predix platform. 
 
The first-of-its-kind partnership marks the coming together of two of the world’s largest industrial conglomerates to provide Industrial IOT solutions to customers in oil & gas, fertilizer, power, healthcare, telecom and other industries, a press release from RIL said.
 
The agreement was signed in the presence of Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE and Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, it said.
 
The release said GE would provide its Predix cloud offering, Industrial Internet applications and data science expertise. RIL will develop solutions on Predix as an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), bringing to bear its over 30 years of data, process and operational expertise. RIL will also offer nationwide connectivity infrastructure to customers through a 4G network powered by Jio. GE would offer the security, availability and monitoring aspects of the platform to RIL and its customers. The potential for other revenue streams includes telecom, healthcare and agriculture, it said.
 
According to the release, the benefits to customers include driving operational efficiencies, profitability and new revenue streams by making use of data and analytics. 
 
"A one per cent productivity gain for companies creates ~ USD 250 billion value over 15 years, across these key energy and infrastructure industries. The digital market is growing at a fast pace with IIOT contributing the highest degree of growth at over 10 per cent. According to Gartner, there exists a market opportunity of over USD 25 billion by 2022 for IIoT solutions across the four key industries of oil & gas, power, healthcare and transportation," it said.
 
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“India’s potential in driving the migration to digital is well appreciated. The partnership with Reliance Industries will shape the future of the Industrial Internet not just in India but globally. The possibilities that it opens to develop solutions on our Predix platform for the industrial sector are endless,” said Mr. Immelt.
 
“India needs to rapidly move to the next level of smart manufacturing which leverages big data, algorithms, and sensor technology. The presence of ubiquitous high bandwidth connectivity and cloud services enabled by Jio will be a key enabler for the rapid growth of IIOT within India. Indians have been in the forefront of creating smart and innovative solutions in a number of fields. It’s time we brought smart manufacturing capability into India by providing value added IIOT solutions for the industry that will enable India’s economic growth,” said Mr. Ambani.
 
The release said digital solutions have the potential to save billions of dollars each year. Use of data as the fuel and analytics as the growth engine promises to drive disruptive and positive changes across the industrial landscape, it added.
 
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Mukherjee meets Paralympics 2016 athletes

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President Pranab Mukherjee received the participants of the recently concluded Paralympics 2016 at Rashtrapati Bhawan here yesterday.
 
Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports  Vijay Goel was among those present on the occasion.
 
The para-athletes included gold medallists Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw) and Mariyappan Thangavelu (High Jump), silver medal winner Deepa Malik (Women’s Shot Put), and bronze medal winner Varun Singh Bhati (High Jump).
 
They had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22.  Later, in a series of tweets on the social network site Twitter, he lauded their achievements.
 
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has announced cash awards of a total of Rs. 90 lakh for the Rio Paralympics 2016 medal winners.
 
Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Thawaarchand Gehlot, will felicitate the medal winners at a special felicitation programme.
 
Thangavelu and Jhajharia will be awarded Rs 30 lakh cash prize, silver medallist Deepa Malik will be given Rs 20 lakh and Varun Singh Bhati Rs 10 lakh.
 
It was India’s best ever performance in Paralympics history. Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89 metres to bag the gold medal while Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86m to finish third and won bronze.
 
Jhajharia clinched gold in Javelin throw while Malik bagged silver in shot put to become the first ever Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics Games.
 
India sent the biggest ever contingent of 19 athletes to the Rio Paralympics. More than 4400 athletes from 160 countries participated at the games, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from September 7-18.
 
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Sports sector given infrastructure status

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The Ministry of Finance has decided that sports infrastructure will be included under the Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure Sub-sectors, including the provision of sports stadia and infrastructure for academies for training and research in sports and sports-related activities.
 
In this connection, the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, had issued a gazette notification on September 9, an official press release said.
 
The Ministry of Youth Affairs had moved the proposal for the inclusion of sports in the list to address the issue of deficit of sports infrastructure in the country.
 
This would make the sports sector eligible for obtaining long-term financial support from banks and other financial institutions on the same principle as is available to other infrastructure projects.
 
The release said the Ministry of Finance had taken the decision after a series of meetings and discussions with different agencies, including the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
 
"This inclusion would encourage private investment in a public good which has socio-economic externalities in a country with young population. It will also bolster investment in sports infrastructure sector which will contribute to the economy and help in promotion of health and fitness of the people of this country as also provide opportunities for employment in the new and exciting sectors. It goes without saying that investment of the private sector will widen the platform from where the country can become a sporting power in future," the release added.
 
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Rs 90 lakh cash awards for Rio Paralympics 2016 medal winners

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The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has announced cash awards of a total of Rs. 90 lakh for the Rio Paralympics 2016 medal winners.
 
Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Thawaarchand Gehlot, will felicitate the medal winners at a special felicitation programme.
 
Gold medal winners Mariyappan Thangavelu and Devendra Jhajharia will be awarded Rs 30 lakh cash prize, silver medallist Deepa Malik will be given Rs 20 lakh and Varun Singh Bhati Rs 10 lakh for winning bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics 2016.
 
“Indian para-athletes bagged impressive four medals at the Rio Paralympics 2016 and made history. The success of para athletes has made India proud. The department has decided to award cash prize of total Rs 90 lakh to medal winners,” Mr Gehlot said.
 
It was India’s best ever performance in Paralympics history. Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89 metres to bag the gold medal while Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86m to finish third and won bronze.
 
Jhajharia clinched gold in Javelin throw while Malik bagged silver in shot put to become the first ever Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics Games.
 
India sent its biggest ever contingent of 19 athletes to the Rio Paralympics. More than 4400 athletes from 160 countries participated at the games, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from September 7-18.
 
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Modi unveils roll on trophy for BRICS U-17 Football Tournament

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday unveiled the roll on trophy for the BRICS U-17 Football Tournament, scheduled to be held in Goa from October 5 to October 15.
 
In his address on the occasion, Mr Modi reiterated the nation’s commitment to ‘Sports for All’ besides ‘Khelo India’ and taking football to every corner of the country.
 
He emphasised that the youth were the leaders of the future and their shared understanding and bonhomie was an imperative to ensure that the BRICS Summit continues to receive the impetus it deserves.
 
Wishing the tournament grand success, the Prime Minister said he was confident that it would meet its objective of facilitating greater understanding and friendship among all participants.
 
In his introductory address, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel said the trophy symbolised the free and enterprising spirit of youth and strength and commitment of the BRICS nations towards solidarity in their global endeavours.
 
The ceremony was attended by Ambassadors and High Commissioners of BRICS nations and other dignitaries.
 
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Cricketers Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane receive Arjuna Awards

Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel conferring the Arjuna Award on cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, in New Delhi on September 16, 2016.
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel conferring the Arjuna Award on cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, in New Delhi on September 16, 2016.
Cricketers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane received the prestigious Arjuna Awards from Sports Minister Vijay Goel at a function at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here today.
 
Sharma was conferred the Arjuna Award for 2015 and Rahane for 2016, but they could not receive the awards from the President earlier because they were playing in tournaments abroad at that time.
 
The Arjuna Awards, instituted in 1961, are given to sportspersons for consistently outstanding performance for four years preceding the year of award and who have also shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
 
The awardees are given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and award money of Rs. 5 lakh.
 
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MoU between India, Mozambique on cooperation in field of Youth Affairs, Sports

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The Union Cabinet was yesterday apprised of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on July 7, 2016 between India and Mozambique on cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs and Sports during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mozambique.
 
The MoU will help in promotion of sports in the two countries and will promote exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst youth and in developing friendly relations, an official press release said.
 
It will also help in developing international perspective among the youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of Youth Affairs and Sports, it added.
 
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Sports Ministry to review India's performance at Rio Olympics

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Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Vijay Goel has decided to conduct within the Ministry a thorough review of India’s performance in Rio Olympics, 2016 and the process has already begun. 
 
An official press release said the Minister had written individual letters to each of the athletes who participated in the Rio Olympics, seeking their feedback and suggestions. 
 
He has stated that they should feel free to give him their suggestions or feedback anytime either personally or through mail. 
 
In his letter, Mr. Goel has stressed the need for more inputs from performers like them so that the pool of world class athletes can be enhanced and sports infrastructure strengthened. 
 
The Ministry has also written to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to submit its feedback on India’s performance in Rio Olympics, 2016 and steps for improving the performance in the future. 
 
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Such feedback will also be sought from the National Sports Federations (NSFs), the release said.
 
Mr. Goel will have detailed meetings with the IOA and the NSFs shortly in this regard. The objective of this exercise is to analyse India’s performance in Rio Olympics and bring about necessary improvements in future. 
 
The Ministry will also take a look at the duties and responsibilities of various members of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics with the purpose of making a fair assessment of their role and taking steps for future improvement. 
 
Mr. Goel will visit some prominent academies and Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centres in the country to have a first-hand knowledge of the facilities available for training of athletes and the improvement required. 
 
On September 17, he will visit the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad where he will meet players, coaches and other support persons. He will also visit the SAI Centre at Hyderabad, the release added.
 
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GAIL extends financial support to young gymnast Asmita Pal

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Responding to a call for financial support  for 15-year-old gymnast Asmita Pal of Agartala, Tripura, the public sector GAIL (India) Limited today announced an immediate grant of Rs. 2,00,00 and a monthly scholarship of Rs. 20,000 per month for the next two years to meet her training and nutritional requirements.
 
A press release from GAIL said it had decided to support Asmita’s cause after a television news channel today reported her story and her journey of grit and glory despite her impoverished background.
 
Asmita's father is a daily wager, her mother a domestic help in Agartala and the familylives in a crammed dwelling with just four walls and a tin roof. But she defied the odds, fighting her way into the national team, representing India at the World School championships in Turkey.
 
The Class X girl is being billed as the next Dipa Karmakar of India. 15-year-old Ashmita dreams of an Olympic medal much like her hero, who finished a creditabe fourth in the vault at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics earlier this month.
 
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Mukherjee presents Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to Sindhu, Dipa, Sakshi, Jitu

 
Sports heroes presented Khel Ratna, Arjuna Dronacharya, Dhyan Chand Awards
President Pranab Mukherjee today presented the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2016, the country's highest sporting honour, to India's Rio Olympics heroes -- P. V. Sindhu, who won the silver in badminton, Sakshi Malik, who got bronze in wrestling, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in vault, and shooter Jitu Rai.
 
Jitu Rai had missed the qualification for the final round by two points and finished12th in the Men’s 50m Pistol in the Olympics.
 
Along with them, 15 sportspersons were presented the Arjuna Awards 2016, including Lalita Babar, who finished a creditable 10th in the 3000m women's steeplechase final at the Olympics.
 
The others were archer Rajat Chauhan, Sourav Kothari (Billiards & Snooker), boxer Shiva Thapa, footballer Subrata Paul, hockey players Raghunath V. R. and Rani, shooters Gurpreet Singh and Apurvi Chandela, table tennis player Soumyajit Ghosh, wrestlers Vinesh and Amit Kumar, Sandeep Singh Mann (Para-athletics) and Virender Singh (Wrestling-deaf).
 
Cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, who was also selected for Arjuna Award in the discipline of cricket, could not attend the ceremony, which was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, as he is presently abroad with the Indian team. He will be given award later by the Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports.
 
The Dronacharya Awards 2016 for coaches were presented to  Nagapuri Ramesh (Athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (Boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (Cricket), Bishweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics), S. Pradeep Kumar (Swimming--Lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (Wrestling-Lifetime).
 
The Dhyan Chand Awards 2015 for lifetime achievement in sports were given to Satti Geetha (Athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (Hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (Rowing).
 
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Purushkar, 2016 for promotion and encouragement of sports was given for Hockey Citiens Group, Dadar Parsee Zoroastrian Cricket Club, Usha School of Athletics and STAIRS for Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent.
 
For encouragement to sports through corporate social responsibility, the award went to India Infrastructure Finance Corporate Limited and for employment to sportspersons and other welfare measures, it was presented to Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society was given the award in the category of Sports for Development.
 
Punjabi University, Patiala was awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.
 
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards 2015 were conferred on Tashi Malik (Land Adventure), Nungshi Malik Land Adventure (Land Adventure), Debasish Biswas (Land Adventure),  Ritu Kishor Kedia (Water Adventure), B. Rajkumar (Air Adventure) and Harbhajan Singh (Life Time Achievement).
 
Apart from a medal and a citation, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees received a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each. Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar were given Trophies and certificates. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments were given MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs. 10 lakh and  certificate.
 
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The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
 
The Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years; the Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events, Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar  is given to the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development. 
 
Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.
 
The Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice S. K. Agarwal, retired Delhi High Court judge. 
 
The Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by boxer M.C. Mary Kom. The Selection Committee for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was headed by Mr. Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports). 
 
The committees included former  Olympians, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, Sports Journalists/Experts/Commentators and sports administrators. 
 
The Government had earlier, in May this year, decided to consider suo motu medal winners in individual events in the Rio Olympics 2016 for the the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna this year in case they have not received the award in the past.
 
Medal winners in team events, who have played stellar roles in the medal won by the team for the country in Rio Olympics 2016 such as number of goals scored, number of goals saved, and so on,  and who have already not been conferred with Arjuna Award in the past were considered for Arjuna Awards 2016.
 
This was done so that they would not have to wait for one full year after their medal winning performance at the Olympics.
 
As per the existing provisions of the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards, sports achievements of the sportspersons for the last four years preceding the year of award are to be considered.
 
This means that sports achievements during the period 2011 to 2015 would have been ordinarily considered for the 2016 awards.
 
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Modi announces Task Force to prepare for next three Olympics

Days after the Indian contingent returned from the 31st edition of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with just two medals -- a silver and a bronze, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today that a Task Force would be set up to prepare for the next three Olympics.
 
Mr. Modi told a meeting of the Council of Ministers that the Task Force would draw up a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the Olympic Games in 2020, 2024 and 2028. 
 
The Task Force will prepare overall strategy for sports facility, training, selection procedure and other related matters, he said.
 
The Task Force will comprise members who are in-house experts as well as those from outside.
 
The Prime Minister said that the Task Force would be set up over the next few days, an officia press release added.
 
India's P. V. Sindhu won the silver medal win the women's singles in badminton, while wrestler Sakshi Malik won a bronze medal. Though there were some other creditable performances, including a superb fourth place finish by gymnast Dipa Karmakar in the vault, but, overall, the Indians' performance was disappointing.
 
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Govt. sets up committee to probe allegations of marathon runner O.P.Jaisha

 
I can't fight govt. or federation: Jaisha
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel today constituted a two-member committee to inquire into the allegations made by runner O P Jaisha, who had collapsed at the end of the marathon in the Rio Olympics and blamed Indian officials for not providing water and energy drinks at refreshment points along the route.
 
An official press release said the committee would consist of Mr. Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary (Sports) and Mr. Vivek Narayan, Director (Sports).
 
The two member committee will submit its report in seven days, the release said.
 
Jaisha had alleged that there were no Indian officials present at the stalls set up for the purpose while there were officials from all other countries to provide refreshments to their runners at designated points after every 2.5 km.
 
She managed to complete the race, finishing 89th with a timing of 2:47:19. but collapsed immediately after crossing the finishing line because of the scorching heat which had left her dehydrated. She had to be rushed to a hospital.
 
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) denied the allegations and claimed that the arrangements were made in consultation with Jaisha and other Indian runners. However, Jaisha told journalists that video footage of the race would prove that she was right.
 
She said she got water only once in 8 km from the Rio organisers, which was inadequate.
 
The AFI issued a statement yesterday which said that Jaisha and her coach had refused to avail the option of having energy drinks.
 
"Each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks on the booths, marked in a colour as per the choice of the team and athlete. Accordingly, as per the rule, on the night ahead of women's marathon race, Indian team manager carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut and visited the duo and their coach Nikolai Snesarev in their room," the statement said.
 
"The team manager asked them to provide their choice of personalised drink which would then be sealed in their presence and handed over to the organisers for installing them on the booth along with a placard as per the requirement of the athlete. In this case, the two athletes, Ms Jaisha and Ms Raut declined the offer and informed the Indian team manager that they didn't require personalised drink, and if at all they required it during the race, they would use the drinks available at the water booth and refreshment booth provided by the organisers," the AFI said.
 
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The AFI said that, according to the rules, an athlete can be disqualified if he or she accepts a drink from any other person or official standing along the route except taken on their own — be it personalised drink submitted to the organisers in advance or the drinks provided by the organisers on the water and refreshment booths, respectively.
 
"Therefore, it is an incorrect statement made by Ms OP Jaisha that the Indian officials accompanying the team did not provide her water or any other form of tonic drinks. Further, it is also informed that Ms Jaisha had declined to use personalised drink in another event, the 2015 World Championships held in Beijing and the coach informed the Indian team management that she wasn't in the habit of using personalised drinks," the statement added.
 
"The AFI vouches that the arrangement for marathon race organised by the OC 2016 Rio Olympic Games was commendable and as per the rules and regulations pertaining to conduct of a marathon race... As per the prevailing rules and regulations, the organisers installed one water point per every 2.5 km and one refreshment booth per every 2.5 km. The quantity of drinks was enough and the Rio organisers did a wonderful job on this front as per requirement for a marathon race," it said.
 
"We fail to comprehend why Ms Jaisha, who has been nurtured and trained with relentless dedication by the foreign expert and the AFI for years, chose to state incorrect information in her interview to a section of the media," it added.
 
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Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for Olympic heroes Sindhu, Dipa, Sakshi, Jitu

P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu
India's Rio Olympics heroes -- P. V. Sindhu, who won the silver in badminton, Sakshi Malik, who got bronze in wrestling, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who finished fourth in vault, and shooter Jitu Rai were today chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2016, the country's highest sporting honour.
 
Jitu Rai had missed the qualification for the final round by two points and finishing 12th in the Men’s 50m Pistol in the Olympics.
 
The Government had earlier, in May this year, decided to consider suo motu medal winners in individual events in the Rio Olympics 2016 for the the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna this year in case they have not received the award in the past.
 
Medal winners in team events, who have played stellar roles in the medal won by the team for the country in Rio Olympics 2016 such as number of goals scored, number of goals saved, and so on,  and who have already not been conferred with Arjuna Award in the past will be considered for Arjuna Awards 2016.
 
This was done so that they would not have to wait for one full year after their medal winning performance at the Olympics.
 
As per the existing provisions of the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards, sports achievements of the sportspersons for the last four years preceding the year of award are to be considered.
 
This means that sports achievements during the period 2011 to 2015 would have been ordinarily considered for the 2016 awards.
 
Fifteen sportspersons have been chosen for the Arjuna Awards 2016, including Lalita Babar, who finished a creditable 10th in the 3000m women's steeplechase final at the Olympics.
 
The others are cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, archer Rajat Chauhan, Sourav Kothari (Billiards & Snooker), boxer Shiva Thapa, footballer Subrata Paul, hockey players Raghunath V. R. and Rani, shooters Gurpreet Singh and Apurvi Chandela, table tennis player Soumyajit Ghosh, wrestlers Vinesh and Amit Kumar, Sandeep Singh Mann (para-athletics) and Virender Singh (wrestling-deaf).
 
The Dronacharya Awards 2016 for coaches have gone to  Nagapuri Ramesh (Athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (Boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (Cricket), Bishweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics), S. Pradeep Kumar (Swimming--Lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (Wrestling-Lifetime).
 
The Dhyan Chand Awards 2015 for lifetime achievement in sports have been given to Satti Geetha (Athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (Hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (Rowing).
 
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Purushkar, 2016 for promotion and encouragement of sports has been recommended for Hockey Citiens Group, Dadar Parsee Zoroastrian Cricket Club, Usha School of Athletics and STAIRS for Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent.
 
For encouragement to sports through corporate social responsibility, the award will go to India Infrastructure Finance Corporate Limited and for employment to sportspersons and other welfare measures, it will go to to Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society has been chosen for the award in the category of Sports for Development.
 
Punjabi University, Patiala has been awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.
 
The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29.
 
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Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees will receive a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each. Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given Trophies and certificates. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments will be given MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs. 10 lakh and  certificate.
 
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
 
The Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years; the Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events, Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar  is given to the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development. 
 
Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.
 
The Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice S. K. Agarwal, retired Delhi High Court judge. 
 
The Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by boxer M.C. Mary Kom. The Selection Committee for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was headed by Mr. Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports). 
 
The committees included former  Olympians, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, Sports Journalists/Experts/Commentators and sports administrators. 
 
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Ramachandran awarded Olympic Order by IOC President Bach

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Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N. Ramachandran  was today awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement.
 
The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, that is, recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975.
 
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach formally presented the award to Mr. Ramachandran on Sunday and congratulated the IOA President saying the award was in recognition of his contribution to the Indian Olympic Movement.
 
Mr. Ramachandran said, “I am humbled by the honour and it is indeed one of the best moments of my career in sports administration. I am extremely grateful to the IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board for choosing me for this award.” He added, “This award belongs to the entire country.”
 
Mr. Ramachandran was President of the Indian Triathlon Federation, and later he was Secretary General of the Squash Rackets Federation of India. He made Chennai the “Squash Capital” of India.
 
In 2001 he was elected as the President of the Asian Squash Federation and was re-elected to this position in 2005.
 
Mr. Ramachandran was appointed as an Associate Vice-President of the IOA in 2001 and elected a Vice-President in 2005. 
 
In 2008, Mr. Ramachandran was elected as President of the World Squash Federation. In 2009 He was appointed as Patron of both the Asian Squash Federation and the Squash Rackets Federation of India.
 
At the WSF AGM in 2012, Mr Ramachandran was re-elected as WSF President for a further four years.  In February, 2014, Mr. Ramachandran was elected President of the IOA.
 
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Rio closes spectacular Olympics with stunning musical extravaganza

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Overcast conditions and a continuous drizzle failed to dampen the spirits as, in a ceremony splashed with boisterous celebrations breathtaking fireworks, splendid Brazilian music and entertainment, Rio de Janeiro gave an emotional send-off to athletes from all over the planet who had made the 31st edition of the Olympic Games overwhelming success at the iconic Maracana Stadium here on Sunday night.
 
Brazil surprised many a naysayer by staging a fairly spectacular  games and the closing ceremony was exactly what the south American nation’s culture represents to the world and all what’s best in Brazil.
 
Fifteen days of intense battle for medals, the joy of victory or the sorrow of defeat, was put aside as athletes of the world let their hair down at the world’s biggest party arena. So the Parade of Athletes into the Maracana was quite different from the one on August 5.
 
The loudest cheer besides the host country went to Team USA who topped the medals list with more than a hundred medals and its contingent was led  in by multiple gold winner gymnast Simone Biles.  
 
Wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won a bronze, had the honour of leading the Indian contingent.
 
For those packed into the Maracana, added joy was Brazil’s gold victory in soccer against Germany. What better gift than that for a football-crazy nation?
 
If the opening ceremony was themed on hope and warning, tonight’s function was pure Mardi Gras...performers, dancers putting on a spectacle that highlighted Brazilian culture. Considering that Brazil’s greatest carnival designer Rosa Magalhaes was behind the show, little wonder that Maracana was held spellbound.
 
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The closing ceremony was livened by the world famous Norwegian electronic tropical musician Kygo who had lived with his family in Brazil. Kygo a pop sensation set the stadium on fire with his ‘Carry Me’ performed with vocalist Julia Michaels.
 
The curtains  came down on the Games with three national anthems...that of Greece where it all began, the Brazilian ‘Hino Nacional Brasileiro’ and Japan’s ‘Kimigayo’. Japan also gave a video brief of what to expect in Tokyo in 2020.
 
The ceremonies closed with IOC President Thomas Bach calling on all athletes to meet in four years in Tokyo and the symbolic handing over of the Olympic flag to Tokyo’s governor Yurio Koike. 
 
The most poignant moment of course was when the Olympic flame was extinguished bringing a hush in the stadium. The closing ceremony left a tinge of sorrow that 15 days of high performance sports was over. 
 
Brazil was where two of the world’s greatest sporting legends, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, whose feats will, perhaps, never ever be matched, performed for the last time in an Olympics.
 
This historic city was where new sporting heroes for India, P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar made stunning Olympic debuts.  
 
Like most Olympics, Rio too had its glitches, its controversies, but tonight Brazil could go to sleep content that it had pulled off the games quite spectacularly. Ole! to Rio de Janeiro.
 
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Good performances by T.Gopi, Kheta Ram in Olympic Marathon

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Marathoners T Gopi and Kheta Ram salvaged some reputation for the Indian track and field squad as they put up a creditable show, improving upon their their personal bests to finish 25th and 26th, respectively, in the men's marathon on the last day of competitions in the Olympics here today.
 
Gopi timed 2:15:25 and Kheta Ram clocked 2:15:26, bettering their personal bests of 2:16:15 and 2:17:23, respectively. It was indeed a remarkable display, specially by Kheta Ram, who climbed his way from 84th at one stage to finish among the top 30.
 
The other Indian in the fray, Nitender Singh Rawat, finished 84th with a timing of 2:22:52.
 
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge clocked 2:08:44 to win gold in a field of 155 runners. In all, 15 marathoners -- including big names such as Stanley Biwott (Kenya) and Tesfaye Abera (Ethiopia) -- did not finish the race.
 
Armyman Gopi completed the first 5 km in 15:44, and was 73rd.  He moved up the pack to be in the 55th position at the end of 20 km with a timing of 1:02:48. Gopi was followed by Kheta and Rawat in 68th and 73rd places, respectively. 
 
At the end of 30 km, both Gopi and Kheta made very good  progress and moved up by 13 and 15 spots, respectively. 
 
Rawat, however, slipped by 10 places with a timing of 1:38:07 to be ranked 83rd at the 30 km mark.
 
Gopi had acted as a pace setter in the Mumbai marathon earlier this year to help Rawat -- who had already qualified for the Olympics -- improve his timing. 
 
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Men's wrestling campaign ends unceremoniously as Yogeshwar Dutt fails

Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt lost without putting up much of a fight to two-time world championship bronze medallist Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia 3-0 in the freestyle 65 kg category  of the Olympic wrestling competition here today.
 
Any chance of a repechage for another shot at the bronze also vanished when Ganzorigiin failed to make the final of the event, losing his next bout.
 
Yogeshwar, who had won the bronze at the 2012 London Olympics in the 60kg category and is the reigning Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 65kg, started tentatively   as he tried to understand Ganzorigiin's strategy. 
 
The Mongol went on the attack from the word go and Yogeshwar found it hard to tackle him. Though the Indian managed to ward  off  the Mongol for some time, it was very apparent that he stood no chance in the bout.
 
Yogeshwar was penalised for passivity at the one minute, 28 seconds mark. The rest of the period it was the Mongolian who kept chasing the Indian.
 
The Indian tried to attack in the second round but when he tried to go for a leg lock, Ganzorigiin got the chance to turn defence into attack and lodge his first two-pointer.
 
Though Yogeshwar kept attacking through the rest of the second period -- especially coming close to pushing his opponent out of bounds with 40 seconds to go -- Ganzorigiin kept his defence intact till the end of the bout.
 
The Indian grappler was not very agile and did not look fully fit. 
 
After the bout against Yogeshwar, Ganzorigiin beat China's Katai Yeerlanbieke 3-0 in the round of 16. But in the next bout, the Mongolian wrestler lost to Soslan Ramonov of Russia --- thus  ending  Yogeshwar's hope of going  into repechage.
 
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